Multivitamin

Recent research provides even more reason for women of all ages to take their multi: It may support weight loss and have antiaging effects.

Recommended dose: Follow dose instructions on bottle.

Calcium

This well-known bone strengthener can also help prevent cancer (when combined with vitamin D), aid in weight loss, and even lower blood pressure—but the average woman falls about 300 mg short of the recommended dose.

Recommended dose: 1,000 mg daily for adults younger than 50 or 1,200 mg for adults odler than 50, divided into two doses

Vitamin D

Essential for promoting calcium absorption, strengthening bones, and boosting immunity, recent research shows vitamin D may also prevent high blood pressure and certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

Recommended dose: 1,000 IU or 2,000 IU daily

Folic Acid

Essential during pregnancy, this B vitamin helps create red blood cells, DNA, and RNA. Deficiency has been linked to poor growth, prematurely gray hair, and anemia.

Recommended dose: 400 mcg daily, plus 400 mcg daily from supplements or fortified foods